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This Is Why DC United Is Better Than The Nationals, Respecting Their Supporters

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Yes it’s documented that I am a New York Supporter and I hate DC United with a passion. But while my hate has some form of respect for the club in our Nation’s Capital I have been reading reports for the last couple of years that the Nation’s Capital has no respect for DC United & their supporters.

You’ve read my article on their problems of getting a new stadium approved and no matter how many times the club has tried to get something started within the District of Colombia, in the suburbs of Northern Virginia & or Southern Maryland, their hopes and dreams to get a stadium deal has been dashed.

But for those of you that are from DC and support the club I heard what happened on opening day at Nationals Baseball Stadium and I will share this to all of you who weren’t aware of this situation. On Yahoo Sports Baseball section I read a funny article from Baseball reporter & blogger Kevin Kaduk on the major gaff by the ticket sales office of the Washington Nationals.

For those of you that aren’t familiar on the driving distance, train distance or bus distance between New York City, Philadelphia, Baltimore & Washington DC it’s not a long distance to get to these popular cities. A good two to four hours driving down the NJ Turnpike & I-95. There are usually a good two hundred supporters that travel for DC, Red Bulls, Revolution & soon the Union supporters will be joining in on the fun.

But could you imagine over five hundred and thirty Philadelphia Phillies fans coming down to Nationals Baseball Stadium and taking over the lower bowl section behind the Right Field Wall & helping them out was the front office of the Washington Nationals. We all know that the Nats have been having a tough time selling tickets for their regular season, but could you imagine the ultimate betrayal when their own front office doesn’t have the faith in their own supporters to come to the ballpark.

Now obviously we know the situation of the club playing in old rickety RFK Stadium and honestly one day a big chunk will come loose and hurt someone and that is something I hope doesn’t happen. But when Mayor Fenty can’t help a professional sports team that has won more championships than the Redskins and the Nationals are the third attempt of keeping a professional Baseball club in the district, something is seriously wrong here.

Once again the problems are simple when the politicians who wear their DC United kits to the matches at RFK, but once they put on their business suites and sit behind their desks and see legislation on creating a new stadium for the club as well as home field advantage for the US National Team they decide to stamp Veto, instead of approve.

I know that Baseball is the National Past time of our country and besides supporting the New York Red Bulls I am a die hard Yankees fan, NY Rangers & Jets fan. But I can bring all those sides together and support them within my heart, just like others in DC who support their club and the Capitals, Redskins, Wizards. But honestly I just laugh at this situation with the Nationals as they keep on finding ways to embarrass themselves as well as their own fans for allowing a quarter of Philadelphia to overtake a giant section of their ballpark. One thing I know is true. Kevin Payne would never allow himself to be embarrassed by that big of a mistake of allowing that many visiting supporters to over take RFK.

http://sports.yahoo.com/mlb/blog/big_league_stew/post/The-Phillies-fan-invasion-was-orchestrated-by-th?urn=mlb,232653

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12 Comments

12 Comments

  1. DCUDiplomat96

    April 10, 2010 at 3:20 am

    Right now the Caps are the Hottest Ticket in town, they have a grat following, and the best regular season record. and starting to be historically consistant, since 1998 and the 1980s. the DC United organization hasnt still figured out how to win the people of DC, thats why they dont have a SSS yet, they keep shooting themselves in the foot. also Soccer hasnt realy crossed ethnic liines in DMV. the overall makeup in the DCU games are spanish speakers. As for the Nationals the team hasnt been good so attendance is gonna reflect that. But the Nationals have done better than DCU in marketing and exposure. the news nats park will have better attendance once the team starts winning. DC is more of a baseball town than a soccer town, especially historically. unless the DCU management gets a stadium deal done they might not be a DC United next season. the nationals do not have that problem. the nationals just need to build thier team thru the draft and farm system ofcourse that takes time.

  2. mike

    April 9, 2010 at 7:52 pm

    you are blowing this waaay out of proportion. 500 fans out of 45,000 is nothing (it would be alot if say 500 pirate fans were in san diego). thats 1 out of 90. i bet if they werent all sitting together, you wouldnt have noticed. plus besides dc and phi being close to eachother, the nats are a new team and many in the dc area were phils fans before the nats arrived.

    ps, why are you calling it a “kit”. this is america, they are called jerseys. im tired of americans trying to be british.
    jersey/uniform not kit
    field not pitch
    game not match
    … and quit with the “mate”, “fellow”, and “bloody”.

  3. Cavan

    April 9, 2010 at 11:19 am

    There was over 1000 Sounder fans for the USOC final. Those fans were good fans. However, the other 19,000 were DC United fans.

    On the other hand, from what I hear, the Nats game was over 65% Phillies fans, out of 40,000.

    Totally different.

    Washington is a lousy sports town overall. The Wizards, Caps, and especially the Nats are extremly fair-weather fanbases. The Redskins and United have resilient, hardcore fanbases. Washington is an awesome soccer and football market but is lousy for everything else. I do think that if the Wizards ever had a sustained winning record long enough for a generation of fans to grow up with them they’d get a hardcore fanbase.

    On the other hand, the Nats and the Caps will always be fairweather fans because their fanbase is painfully, laughingly homogenous. The Redskins and United fanbases are both very diverse and cross income and ethnic lines. I feel weird going to Caps games because the crowd is almost all from the same economic and ethnic background. (My background is very similar many of those fans.) As a core United fan whose normal sports fan routine involves enjoying the game with all kinds of people it just feels off and weird. The homogenous fanbases of the Nats and the Caps are ridiculously fairweather by nature on average.

    Just one more thing to the author, Southern Maryland is not in the Washington Metro region. Southern Maryland is down where the Potomac meets the Chesapeake Bay. It’s very rural. In Maryland we tend to identify ourselves by county. The two counties that border the District (capital “D”) are Montgomery and Prince George’s. The phone book is labeled as “Suburban Maryland” but we tend to just use the county.

    • Daniel Feuerstein

      April 10, 2010 at 3:22 am

      Caven. Thanks for the clarification on the Suburban Maryland section. I know that by the I-95 Loop Maryland does border on the district. Chevy Chase is close as well I believe. But you know the area alot better than I do.

  4. SOUNDERSFC

    April 9, 2010 at 10:02 am

    I seem to recall well over 1000 Sounders fans at the USOC final at RFK last year….

  5. CleartheBall

    April 8, 2010 at 2:10 pm

    A side note. We had a really rough time getting Rio Tinto stadium through. There are a lot of haters out there. What always baffles me is that the public putting some money into a stadium pays for a permanent asset for the community. The politicians are not going to reduce taxes without a stadium, they’re just going to spend the $ more irresponsibly. Maybe something like all the kickbacks to Obama’s buddies built into the latest Healthcare bill. As for me, I’d much rather have a permanent asset rather than a load of crap. Preferably for soccer stadiums, but even if it were, heaven forbid, for baseball stadiums.

  6. bradjmoore48

    April 8, 2010 at 1:41 pm

    Charles,

    The 500 number is only the amount of people from one specific Phillies fan organization. It doesn’t include others from the Philly area that came down to the game, as well as Philly transplants living in the DC area, which are plenty. An exact number of Phillies fans is hard to find, but most at the game put a fair estimate of Phillies fans at 65% of the crowd!! Certainly, those Phillies fans who paid for their own ticket, by whatever method, are absolutely entitled to see their team play. But the fact that the Nationals front office were so open about giving that many (CTblues has a point, so we’ll stick with the 500 number for the sake of this argument) tickets away to a game that would have sold out regardless shows how little faith the Nationals front office has in its team and how well they can sell tickets. Those could have been 500 Nationals fans. Ultimately, soccer is my sport, and what I was most upset about, as the author suggests, is that DC rewards the bungling of our “major” sports franchises, while simultaneously showing no real support of its MLS franchise, which is a much more storied franchise in its respective league than either the Redskins, Wizards or Nationals, and certainly has the support.

    This weekend, DC United and its supporters will make the drive/bus ride to Philly to see them play the Union, and the beginnings of a new MLS rivalry will begin, but let’s be honest, do you really think 65% of the people at that game will be DC United supporters?

    • CTBlues

      April 8, 2010 at 3:08 pm

      When I go to Baltimore vs Yankees games in Baltimore the majority of the crowd are Yankees. Last time I went there was enough of Yankee fans there that we were able to do the role call when Baltimore got their first at bat.

      • bradjmoore48

        April 8, 2010 at 3:50 pm

        CTBlues,

        I’m not disputing that. It’s the same deal when the Red Sox visit Baltimore, and then in inter-league play, when the Sox and Yankees come to DC, as well as the Mets, Phillies and Cubs in NL play. The issue isn’t how many people of an opposing team show up to a game, but that the Nationals actually sought out Phillies fans, regardless of how few in the scheme of things, and gave them the opportunity to purchase tickets in bulk before single-game tickets went on sale. The Phillies fans aren’t to blame. Assuming those 500 people were the only people who would have benefitted from this, then the impact would have been minimal, and there still would’ve been a majority of Phillies fans at the game anyways. However, the strategy to just give away prime seats to opposition fans in bulk numbers is not the best way to win over possible DC fans, and an awful long-term strategy. I’ve said my piece on why its insulting to DC United supporters, so I’ll just leave it at that.

  7. CTBlues

    April 8, 2010 at 12:37 pm

    It might not have been the National’s front office that let it happan. It could have been season ticket holders that wanted to recoup some money for those season tickets and since it was opening day and the NL champs they sold them on Stubhub or eBay for alot of money. Go Yanks! Redsox suck!

  8. Charles

    April 8, 2010 at 11:55 am

    500 fans seems like nothing. IF 500 opposing fans want tickets to the Sounders I say let them come. 1.3% of the stadium filled with opposing fans ? So what ?

    Man in the old Kingdome days ( now there was a turf you could hate ) the Whitecaps would bring a LOT more than 500 fans down. Made the games fun. Seattle has played Vancouver like 112 times through the years, but even if they had only played one season 30 years ago, I would still ‘hate’ the Whitecaps and their fans. It was an invasion.

    I get the feeling there will be very few tickets for travelling Sounders’ fans for Portland and Vancouver games….shame.

  9. bradjmoore48

    April 8, 2010 at 10:43 am

    I live in the DC area, and while I certainly am not surprised there were a lot of Phillies fans at the Nationals home opener, DC has a large transplant population, so whenever any major East Coast team visits DC, whether from Boston, New York, Philly, Baltimore or occasionally Pittsburgh, you’re going to get opposition fans. Having said that, the Nationals front office complicity in allowing those large groups sales to Phillies fans is a HUGE slap in the face to DC. Aside from DC United, my favorite teams are Boston-based (Red Sox, Patriots), but I can certainly see the frustration Nationals fans would have with allowing this “invasion.” I certainly agree that this may be more of a slap in the face to DC United fans, as we watch the bungling and mismanagement of major sports teams in the area and yet still see them rewarded with new stadiums as we United fans bide our time until the team gets relocated to Baltimore or elsewhere, which is where this is all going. I pray I am wrong about this.

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